Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Videos of Old Growth and a New Waterfall

When my pals and I go hiking, one of the most satisfying things is to discover a waterfall that's not listed in any literature or one that isn't marked on any maps that we use. So it was when Andy Kunkle and I ventured into the unnamed drainage near Curtis Creek Recreation Area in the Pisgah National Forest. We had been told that there was a waterfall, but we didn't know exactly what to expect.

We were both pleased to find a very extensive series of cascades that tumble down the very steep slopes of Laurel Knob. Laurel Knob itself is a moderately high mountain that stands on the verge of the Black Mountains, the highest range in the eastern United States of America. Just north of Laurel Knob one can find some of the finest grandstands here in South. So it shouldn't be a surprise that we stumbled upon a largely unknown waterfall. This area is perfect--geologically and topographically--for such discoveries.

Here then, are a couple of videos (plus some more photos) that I shot while hiking up the unnamed tributary in our search for forest giants, and finding the pleasing sights and sounds of falling water:

This photo illustrates the difficulty of shooting in a forest in summer. You can barely make out what is a pretty impressive cascade sliding over exposed rock. But I'm sure that in the winter, without all of the leaf cover, one could get a very good photo of this waterfall.

Standing on the very steep slopes of the valley, I thought this was a good vantage point above the creek. Again, in late Fall or Winter, this would make a great spot to photograph the cascade.

The frustration of trying to shoot on these extremely steep slopes is illustrated in my attempt to photograph this tree. It's a very impressive Tulip tree right on the verge of the creek. However, there was nowhere to safely anchor my tripod so that I could place myself in the photo with the tree. I like to have a human figure beside a tree to indicate the tree's true dimensions. This one stymied me in that effort.

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